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Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law in late August that included targeted protections to shield tenants from evictions due to COVID-19-related back rent. The law also protects property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Under the legislation, no tenant can be evicted before Feb. 1, 2021, as a result of rent owed due to a COVID-19-related hardship accrued from March 4 through Aug. 31, 2020, if the tenant provides a declaration of hardship according to the legislation’s timelines. For a COVID-19-related hardship that accrues from Sept. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021, tenants must also pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction.

Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but those unpaid amounts cannot be the basis for an eviction. Landlords may begin to recover this debt on March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction was temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts. Landlords who do not follow the court evictions process face increased penalties.

On Monday, Sept. 14, the LA County Board of Supervisors launched Stay Housed LA County, a countywide initiative to provide legal assistance and support for tenants facing eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, a partnership between LA County and local community and legal services providers, shares information and resources to keep people in their homes.

Stay Housed LA County also includes Know Your Rights workshops offered online by participating community organizations. More targeted ongoing support and case management will be provided by local community organizations. 

Contact rent counselors at 833.223.RENT (7368) or rent@dcba.lacounty.gov  For more information, go to stayhousedla.org.

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